Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Illness affecting family events

#1

This weekend we were at a concert that we had bought tickets before my daughter was diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder. It was in a city three hours away from where we live. She still wanted to go and try herself. There was times when she seemed to enjoy herself but overall, I think it was a little bit overwhelming for her.

Now this month, we have a family trip to Mystic, CT we booked 9 months ago. We would be gone for a three days around Easter. She doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about taking a family trip as she had previously. We have been doing family trips several years around Easter.

It just makes me feel a little sad that it is possible she might not be able enjoy family things like this as much anymore.

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#2

My daughter and I used to travel everywhere. Day trips, road trips. Always going here and there. Now she doesnt even want to go into the next town to eat or shop. She has no interest in traveling anymore. It was a big adjustment for me. Traveling with her was my greatest joy.

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#3

All changes are stressful, good changes and bad changes both cause stress. Traveling is a lot of constant changes which can cause stress even if it’s fun positive stuff.

Stress tends to trigger symptoms, everything seems to cause stress. They do learn how to help themselves deal with change to reduce stress, it’s a long process and why everyone suggests lots of patience while our family members figure out what works for them.

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#4

I think I would gently try to encourage her not to give it up. Talk thru it all. Let her know you sense some apprehension and find out what is causing it and what you might be able to do to help.

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#5

I used to travel with my family a lot when I was younger.
I have a lot of fond memories of it.
But I had to focus on work, education, building myself into an independent and strong person. Naturally, family vacations became a thing of the past for me.
Maybe one day, I will be that Patriarch who plans, funds and navigates the family vacation. But for now, as I have for the past 14 years, my vacations will be very simple and very rare.

Maybe the same change is happening for your daughter.
Maybe her concerns don’t melt away during a vacation as easily as they used to.
I understand that what you’re talking about is somewhat different. But I think sacrificing the family vacation in order to continue working toward a better quality of life can be a good thing.
There certainly will be things your daughter can enjoy along the way, but maybe she is entering a phase in her life where setting and attaining personally defined goals is more soothing and develops a better sense of peace and security than traveling to a vacation destination can.

If she can’t enjoy family events and vacations, then it makes sense that she might need to set that as a goal to work toward; to be able to enjoy those things again.

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#6

I can understand why the concert was overwhelming… The loud music, the distance we had to drive, her chronophobia…she enjoyed the music… one of her favorite artists.

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#7

I know what you mean about times changing… it will be harder for my son in college to go on family trips since he is hoping to get an internship during the summer, and it could possibly be in a different state…

My daughter could be going through a similar emotional transition as well.

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#8

Hello,

It’s good to look out for stress, but just like with anyone, none of us can avoid stress completely.

If she is alright traveling and does not “decompensate,” then go! Especially Mystic as that is low key and has history (I went to camp there many decades ago).

My family member decided to stop traveling almost five years ago when they got really ill and had a very hard time on an airplane. Now we are talking about trying again someday. Traveling, maybe not on an airplane though.

Just don’t overschedule; make sure she has lots of time to process and take things slowly each day of the vacation.

I really think that if she wants to go at all, it’s really good to spend time together as a family in this way. BUT this is just my opinion and not scientific at all.

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#9

I asked my daughter about the trip and I guess I just misunderstood her expression… she is actually looking forward to the trip… or maybe it was something else she was feeling stress about at the time before…
I think that is what is was… she was stressed about school soon after that to the point of feeling sick. I stayed home from work with her.

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#10

Oh, that’s good to learn. I was going to suggest that you ask her what you and your wife could do to make the trip to Mystic more comfortable or what she was being hesitant about. If this subject comes up in the future, this is what I would suggest to her: If she is reluctant to go places, maybe she would just need headphones and a music source or to have a code word with the family where she could excuse herself and be on her own when she feels overwhelmed, or that she would stay behind while the rest of the family participated in a certain event she was not looking forward to. As an artistic person, myself, I understand the desire to participate with family and also have time alone.

It is natural to misunderstand children’s expressions. I am glad it worked out this time. School can be one of the worst stresses in a younger person’s life, MI or not. Perhaps she could benefit from some kind of additional counseling for school stress?

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#11

My daughter had traveled to 12 countries by the time she was 12, and after her psychotic break at age 14, hasn’t been on a plane. TSA agents are her biggest fear, due to memories of particularly persistent hallucinations while in psychosis. Now, 2 years later, she just agreed to fly to a family reunion this summer, as long as her favorite caregiver comes with us. Yes! In time, your daughter may get excited about going places again. Best wishes to you.

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#12

We are driving there… We were originally thinking of going to get my son from college in PA, and then driving there to Mystic the next day. Then driving back to bring my son back to college and head back home the next day… That would be 4 nights in a hotel… But now my son has a friend who lives in Mystic and he is thinking of riding with his friend and we would meet him there… That way less hotel nights and less driving.

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#13

We are having a nice time in Mystic, CT! My daughter is doing well… on the way done all the kids took turns DJing with their music on their iPods/iPhones… We went straight to the beach when we got here. Since it was before the season, we pretty much had the beach to ourselves… just walking around… there was a brief rough spot before we left when my daughter was arguing with my wife about something… but it’s been a pretty low key trip… today we are going to the aquarium and eat at Mystic Pizza.

We were pleasantly surprised when we checked into our room… even though it wasn’t quite ready when we arrived… I booked the room in the fall. So I didn’t remember we had a suite with a jacuzzi! I didn’t expect this since it wasn’t that comparatively expensive. It was very relaxing for my daughter… and everyone else.

The anxiety meds are definitely helping… she has been pretty much had a go with the flow attitude.

The main negative thing is that it is a rainy day.

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#14

So glad to hear that your daughter went with you and is enjoying herself. I’m sure thats a big relief for you. It is sad for parents when our kids cant or wont attend family functions. This year was the first time my 24 yo with sz was not with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas. He didnt have other plans, he just gets too anxious and its uncomfortable for him I guess. I certainly felt like a part of me was missing😪.

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